Odd-even: Govt in fix over exemption for women

Odd-even: Govt in fix over exemption for women

Final decision tomorrow; odd-even scheme 2.0 from April 15

Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal and representatives of women’s rights groups met Transport Minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday, as Delhi government grapples with the challenge of exempting women drivers from the odd-even scheme 2.0, starting April 15.

The Arvind Kejriwal government will take a final call on the withdrawal of exemption for women drivers on Wednesday, said a government source. Earlier, Rai had said ‘opinion is divided’ on whether women should be exempted from the odd-even rules.
The Tuesday meeting failed to achieve clarity on the issue, Sindhu Ravi of Niveda Foundation said. “Fifty per cent of the women voted in favour and 50 per cent voted against scrapping of exemption for women drivers,” Ravi told Deccan Herald after the meeting.

Coordination meet
Scrapping of exemption will be discussed in the Wednesday’s coordination meet, involving officials from Delhi Traffic Police, Transport Department, Delhi Transport Corporation and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s government allowed a host of exemptions, including two-wheelers, women-driven cars and VIP vehicles, in the first edition of the odd-even curbs, between January 1 and January 15. The rules allow private vehicles to ply on alternate days.

With the government in a fix over scrapping of exemption for women drivers, DCW had earlier sought the views of women on the forthcoming fortnight-long odd-even restrictions.

“I am not in favour of doing away with the exemption because women face insecurity and other problems,” Sindhu Ravi said after the two-hour-long Tuesday meet. She added the exemptions are required until the public transport system scales up its efficiency.

Days after the successful implementation of the odd-even trail in January, Rai had asked Delhiites to brace up for ‘no exemption’ car curbs in future. But he had later clarified that the government has no plan to drop exemption categories at one go.

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